A Day Off! But Not Really.

Since it’s a Saturday we didn’t have any talks to go to. The only scheduled event was a picnic-type lunch at the Farmer’s market. Since my computer has not changed its time zone settings since I got here, I thought it was an hour earlier than it actually was, so I made it just in time to find everyone stretching and doing yoga stuff. I haven’t stretched in years so for the next hour I kind of just flailed around and tried not to yell in pain when everyone else was reaching their noses to the tip of their feet. After half an hour of stretching we started doing handstands and cartwheels to see if we could get us all in a picture with our feet in the air, which took another half hour…

Afterward we decided to go to Center City and walk around to do some shopping. I was incredibly hungry and we were planning on going to an Indian restaurant that night for dinner, so I made a bad decision and ate a couple cheesebwergers at a local McD’s. I got a courtesy water cup the size of a pea. 

I decided I needed a ukulele so that I could everyone sign it like the baritone I have back home. I looked online for the music shops around town and called a few until I found a store that had one on sale for $40. A nice one wasn’t necessary since its only function would be to hold a bunch of signatures. The group convened at a cafe and went their separate ways to meet back up at 6:30 for dinner at the Indian place. I took the time to go downtown to get my ukulele.
On the way I ran into Old Town Philadelphia, where there were horse n’ buggies, old brick buildings, historic statue, and just a totally different environment than what I’ve been used to seeing in Philadelphia. It’s quieter, cuter, more full of local shops, and somewhat cleaner looking. It was about 3 miles from where I was to the music shop, so it took me a long time to get there. Eventually I was able to pick up my cheap uke and be on my way. 

On the 4 mile journey back to campus (yeah, I walked a LOT) there was a long line of flea market-like tiendas all situated along the sidewalk on South St. I didn’t pick anything up, but I would definitely recommend going here to shop if you ever come into town, they had some really cool stuff. 



When I was crossing the Delaware back towards campus I had to stop for a couple minutes to take in the scenery. This city really is beautiful. 

With only 10 minutes to spare I made it back to the dorm where the group was meeting up. The whole 7 mile walk took a couple hours so I was exhausted and my feet hurt a lot by the time I got back. We headed northwest a couple blocks to the restaurant which was called “Kabobeesh.” No idea what that means. Anyway, we had a girl from India in our group so we let her pick the food and just put in a few dollars each so we could sample several dishes. 

I see what you did there. 

I learned how they eat food in India: with one hand. Usually there’s some kind of sauce you mix with the rice and it’s easier to scoop up and eat out of your hand, but the stuff at the restaurant according to Debjani wasn’t 100% authentic (but she said it was close) so it didn’t work as well as I would have liked. Also, it was probably the spiciest meal I’ve ever had. By the end of the meal, my eyes were watering, my nose was dripping, and I was having problems breathing. 

After dinner, Jose (a friend from the IRCS group) and I decided to go out because we thought there was another block party that night. Apparently there wasn’t, so we stuck around, had a couple drinks and met a whole lot of people that kept us talking until almost 3 in the morning. This city is crazy and full of nice people, it’s amazing. We got back around 3:30 and I passed out almost instantly after falling into bed.

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